|Publication number||US7091898 B2|
|Application number||US 10/796,598|
|Publication date||Aug 15, 2006|
|Filing date||Mar 9, 2004|
|Priority date||Sep 25, 2002|
|Also published as||CA2500004A1, EP1547045A2, EP1547045A4, EP1547045B1, EP2023306A2, EP2023306A3, EP2023306B1, US6788241, US20040056789, US20040169598, WO2004029748A2, WO2004029748A3|
|Publication number||10796598, 796598, US 7091898 B2, US 7091898B2, US-B2-7091898, US7091898 B2, US7091898B2|
|Inventors||Paul D. Arling, Patrick H. Hayes|
|Original Assignee||Universal Electronics Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (25), Classifications (18), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional of and claims the benefit of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/254,363, filed Sep. 25, 2002 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,788,241, which application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
This following relates generally to hand held electronic devices and, more particularly, relates to a system and method for using keystroke data to configure a remote control device.
Universal remote controls for controlling the operation of multiple, diverse home appliances are well known. In this regard, universal remote controls perform a valuable function by consolidating three, four, five, and more remote controls into one device. However, as more remotely controllable appliances enter the homes of consumers and the number of remotely controllable operations increase, the user interface of the universal remote control becomes increasingly more complex. This complexity arises from the need to provide more and more keys which are used to initiate the transmission of the control codes that control the increasing number of operations of the increasing number of home appliances. Disadvantageously, as the user interface of the universal remote control becomes more cluttered, the usability of the universal remote control diminishes. Accordingly, a need exists for a universal remote control having an improved user interface that simplifies the operation of the universal remote control and, as such, the remote operation of consumer appliances.
In accordance with this need, described is a system and method for using keystroke data to configure a remote control device and, more specifically, the user interface of a remote control device to thereby simplify operation of the remote control device. For example, a command key, representative of an appliance function, may be correlated to a target appliance that is determined, as a function of the monitored key use, to be the most likely intended recipient of a command to perform that appliance function. An activity key may also be programmed so as to perform a series of actions that are representative of a sequence of monitored key uses.
A better understanding of the objects, advantages, features, properties and relationships of the invention will be obtained from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings which set forth illustrative embodiments which are indicative of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to preferred embodiments shown in the following drawings in which:
Referring now to the figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements, a system and method for using keystroke data to configure a remote control device 10 is illustrated. In accordance with the description that follows and by way of example only, the keystroke data may be used to configure a graphical user interface of the remote control device 10 to provide a simplified means for accessing command keys and/or for creating macros to control the functions of one or more home appliances 12. It will be appreciated that, as generally illustrated in
Generally, the underlying platform for the remote control device 10, an example of which is illustrated in
The ROM memory 16 typically includes executable instructions that are intended to be executed by the microprocessor 14 to control the operation of the remote control device 10. In this manner, the microprocessor 14 may be programmed to control the various electronic components within the remote control device 10 (e.g., to monitor power, to cause the transmission of signals, etc). Meanwhile, the non-volatile read/write memory 24, for example an EEPROM, battery-backed up RAM, “Smart Card,” memory stick, or the like, allows user entered setup data and parameters, software applications, downloaded data, etc. to be stored as necessary. While the memory 16 is illustrated and described as a ROM memory, memory 16 can be comprised of any type of computer-readable media, such as ROM, RAM, SRAM, FLASH, EEPROM, or the like. Preferably, the memory 16 is also non-volatile or battery-backed such that data is not required to be reloaded after battery changes. In addition, the memories 16 and 24 may take the form of a chip, a hard disk, a magnetic disk, and/or an optical disk without limitation.
For commanding the operation of home appliances 12 of different makes, models, and types, the memory 16 may include a command code library. The command code library is comprised of a plurality of command codes that may be transmitted from the remote control device 10 for the purpose of controlling the operation of a home appliance 12. The memory 16 may also includes instructions which the microprocessor 14 uses in connection with the transmission circuit 22 to cause the command codes to be transmitted in a format that is recognizable by an identified home appliance 12. While the transmission circuit 22 preferably utilizes infrared transmissions, it will be appreciated that other forms of wired or wireless transmissions may also be used. Similarly, the I/O circuitry 32 can allow for wired or wireless communications (e.g., RF or IR) using any conventionally available communications protocol.
To identify home appliances 12 by type and make (and sometimes model) such that the remote control device 10 is adapted to transmit command codes in the format appropriate for such identified home appliances 12, data may be entered into the remote control device 10. Since methods for setting up a remote control to control the operation of specific home appliances 12 are well-known, they will not be described in greater detail herein. For additional information pertaining to remote control setup, the reader may turn to U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,614,906 and 4,959,810 which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
To cause the remote control device 10 to perform an action, the remote control device 10 is adapted to be responsive to events, such as a sensed user interaction with one or more keys on the key matrix 18, user interaction with the touch screen display 30, receipt of a signal from an external source such as a remote computer, etc. More specifically, in response to an event, appropriate instructions within the memory 16 are executed. For example, when a hard or soft command key is activated on the remote control device 10, the remote control device 10 may read a command code corresponding to the activated command key from the memory 16 and transmit the command code to a home appliance 12 in a format recognizable by the home appliance 12. It will be appreciated that the instructions within the memory 16 can be used not only to cause the transmission of command codes to home appliances 12 but also to perform local operations. While not limiting, local operations that may be performed by the remote control device 10 include favorite channel setup, manual macro button setup, command function key relocation, etc. Examples of local operations can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,481,256, 5,959,751, 6,014,092, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
The platform illustrated in the block diagram of
To provide a means to interact with the remote control device 10, the software of the remote control device 10 provides a graphical user interface. Generally, the graphical user interface may be displayed on an LCD touch screen 30 such that activation of a displayed icon or soft key generates an event to control the operation of the remote control device 10. Alternatively, the graphical user interface may be used to provide labels for hard keys on the platform which hard keys may be activated to generate an event to control the operation of the remote control device 10.
An exemplary graphical user interface system is described in pending U.S. Application 60/264,767, 60/334,774, and 60/344,020 which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Generally, as illustrated in
In the examples illustrated in the various figures, the home page 50 displays a circular queue of icons that are representative of appliances and/or activities. In response to a user selecting an appliance icon 55, the remote control device 10 enters a device mode that corresponds to the selected appliance icon to thereby allow for the transmission of command codes for controlling the functions of the appliance that has been linked to the selected icon. It will be appreciated that, when the remote control device 10 is in a device mode, the remote control device 10 may still be configured to transmit commands for controlling the operation of other home appliances (e.g., if the remote control device 10 was setup to perform volume/channel punch through, etc.). In response to a user selecting an activity icon, the remote control device 10 performs one or more actions that have been linked to the selected icon, for example, to transmit a sequence of command codes to control one or more functions of one or more appliances, i.e., perform a macro. The graphical user interface may also cause the display to move (in the illustrated case it will rotate) until the selected icon is displayed at a predetermined location within the circular queue, for example, at the top of the wheel.
For further enhancing the ease of use of the remote control device 10, the graphical user interface provides a remote control icon 51, illustrated in
In some circumstances, it will be appreciated that the device specific pages 53 corresponding to the various device modes may have command keys that are used to command similar operations of the various target home appliances 12. For example, a device specific page 53 for controlling the operations of a VCR, illustrated in
To provide further ease of use, the remote control 10 may support a means for allowing a user to create a page or pages that present a set of command keys for commanding the operation of multiple target appliances, hereinafter referred to as a home theater page 59. As will be appreciated, the home theater page 59 allows the user to command the functions of one or more appliances without the need to toggle between device modes. For example, as illustrated in
To allow for the automatic set-up of the home theater page 59, an automatic setup option may be made available to a user. The automatic set-up option may be accessed, for example, by a user selecting a setup icon 62 which results in the display of a menu 64 of set-up options as illustrated in
In response to the user selecting the auto arrange menu item 66, the command keys illustrated in
To accumulate frequency of use data, the remote control device 10 may, as illustrated in
Generally, the key assignment table provides a correlation between a function command key in the home theater page 59 and a target appliance to which the corresponding function command is to be transmitted. Prior to invocation of the automatic set-up, the key assignment table may have a predetermined correlation between the function command keys in the home theater page 59 and a target appliance (i.e., it may be user set, factory set, etc.). Thus, when a function command key in the home theater page 59 is activated, the key assignment table is read and the target appliance to which the function command key has been correlated is used to determine how a command code(s) is to be formatted for transmission to the intended target appliance.
When determining which target appliance is to be correlated to a function command key in the key assignment table when the automatic set-up function is selected by a user, the automatic assignment process may make use of the total number of times function command keys have been activated for a target appliance within a logical group of function command keys (e.g., transport functions, volume functions, etc.) as illustrated in
To allow for the resetting of the use table, the set-up menu may also list a “reset” option 68 the selection of which by a user would act to zero the entries in the use table. This may be desirable in situations where a user needs to change appliance designations within the remote control 10. At this time, while not required, it may also be desired to reset the key assignment table so as to correlate function keys to predetermined, default appliances. As noted, the predetermined correlations could be user set, factory set, etc. In addition, it is contemplated that the predetermined appliance correlations may change as the remote control is set-up to control various appliances. For example, the predetermined appliance for the transport function keys may be a VCR if the remote control 10 is configured to control a VCR and, if control of a DVD player is later added to the remote control 10, the predetermined appliance correlation may then be changed to the DVD player, i.e., the correlation of function keys, or group of functions keys, defaults to the last added appliance that supports those functions prior to and after resetting of the auto-configure operation.
In circumstances where the remote control device 10 is configured to support multiple configurations, i.e., for different rooms and/or users, a home theater page 59 can be established for each of the different rooms and/or users. In this case, as illustrated in
While described in the context of soft command keys, it will be appreciated that the methods described above can also be used to correlate appliances with hard keys. Furthermore, while described in the context of a home theater page in which the function command keys are predetermined, it will be appreciated that the methods described above can be easily modified to support correlating appliances to a dynamic home theater page, i.e., one in which function command keys are added or deleted. In this case, it will be understood that the use table and key assignment table would also be dynamic to support any function command keys added to the home theater page. It will also be appreciated that the remote control will know, from the command code library for example, which functions are supported by an added target device and, accordingly, if the use table should be expanded to allow for the tracking of activations of that function for that device. It will be further appreciated that the use table can be consulted to suggest the automatic addition of one or more function command keys to the home theater page 59. For example, when a user elects to add a function command key to the home theater page 59, the use table can be examined and if a function command key/device pair have a value that meets some predetermined threshold value, indicating that the function command key for that device is activated often, the remote control device 10 can suggest that that function command key (or group of function command keys that logically includes the function command key) be added to the home theater page(s) 59. If such a suggestion is followed, the key assignment table may also be updated to reflect a correlation between the added function command key(s) and the corresponding appliance.
Still further, accumulated keystroke use data may be utilized to automatically assist in configuring hard keys and/or soft key activity icons (collectively referred to hereinafter as activity keys) of the remote control device 10. By way of example, configuration of an activity key may commence with the user selecting an activity key that is available for configuration, for example, the activity icon 60 illustrated in
To enter a mode where the remote control device 10 assists in defining a macro, the user may select the “auto” item presented within the Activity Wizard, illustrated in
To populate the history file that is searched in the performance of this process, the keystroke capture method described above may be utilized with an additional step 132 being used, as illustrated in
The size of the history file may be selected taking into account factors such as available memory, anticipated use, desired speed of processing, etc. As an example, if 400 keystrokes occur per day and two bytes of storage are required for each keystroke, then keystroke activity over the course of a week may be stored in under 3,000 entries (under 6 KB) and activity over the course of a month may be stored in under 12,000 entries (under 24 KB). Thus, even if separate history files are maintained by user and/or by location (e.g., room), data storage demands would not be deemed to be excessive. Regardless of the memory size selected, when the memory area allocated becomes full, the history data file may simply wrap upon itself such that it always contains the most recent data. It will also be appreciated that the keystrokes that are recorded may be filtered to eliminate those which are unlikely to form part of a desirable sequence—e.g., minor volume adjustments, continued sequences of channel adjustments, etc.—either as a standard default or as a user configurable option.
It will be further appreciated that, while the actual amount of data within the history file is not great when measured by the standards of today, searching through the history file may nevertheless be time consuming. This is especially true in a system with limited processing capability as is likely to be found in the platform of the remote control device 10, even when using known algorithms for searching strings of data such as the Boyer-Moore searching algorithm (See BOYER R. S., MOORE, J. S., 1977, A Fast String Searching Algorithm. Communications of the ACM. 20:762–772).
For improving the searching capabilities within the remote control device 10, two possible approaches are provided. First, keystroke history data can be pre-processed as a background task (i.e., when the device is otherwise idle) in anticipation of future user requests (e.g., to find keystroke sequences that oft repeated which can then be suggested to the user as a proposed macro). Second, as noted above, the user may provide a starting keystroke(s) as a beginning point for the search.
In the case where the user provides a starting keystroke(s), the search program commences by scanning the entire history file for occurrences of the keystroke(s) entered by the user, as illustrated in
Once this procedure has been completed, the possible keystroke sequences that may be of interest to the user have been identified and can be presented to the user for selection and assignment to the activity key, as illustrated in
By way of further example,
In the performance of the first iteration (N=1), the content of the data table 74 a, which is sorted in data table 74 b, shows that keystroke “D” follows the keystrokes “A” and “B” four different times within the history file (i.e., at 1, 2, 4 and 6). Each of keystrokes “N” and “W” follows the keystrokes “A” and “B” a single time within the history file (i.e., at 3 and 5 respectively). Since the keystroke sequence pointed to by pointers 3 and 5 fail to have the requisite number of occurrences (e.g., the sequence has a keystroke that occurs less that two times following the sequence of “A” then “B”) and fails to have the requisite keystroke sequence length (e.g., when the offending keystroke is eliminated from consideration, since it failed to have the requisite frequency, a sequence of “A” and “B” results which is less than three) the keystroke sequences pointed to by pointers 3 and 5 are discarded from further consideration.
To allow a user to easily browse the found keystroke sequences that fit within the given search result factors, the keystroke sequences can be listed in an order, for example, that is determined as a function of their frequency of appearance, by length, etc. Each keystroke in the sequence can also be displayed and a means provided for a user to edit a keystroke sequence (e.g., add, delete, or change the order). The system may also provide a means for the user to select an icon for the activity key (in the event that it is a soft key) and label the activity key to which the keystroke sequence is to be assigned, as illustrated in
While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangement disclosed is meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any equivalents thereof.
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|U.S. Classification||341/176, 348/734, 345/173, 725/38, 340/12.53, 340/12.28, 340/4.35|
|International Classification||G08C19/12, G08C17/00, H04B1/20|
|Cooperative Classification||G08C17/00, G08C2201/33, G08C2201/94, H04B1/202, G08C2201/21, G08C2201/92|
|European Classification||G08C17/00, H04B1/20B|
|Jun 27, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NISEL INVESTMENTS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, DELAW
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:UNIVERSAL ELECTRONICS INC.;REEL/FRAME:021164/0534
Effective date: 20080617
|Jan 22, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 28, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Jan 13, 2016||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: F. POSZAT HU, L.L.C., DELAWARE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:NISEL INVESTMENTS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:037482/0846
Effective date: 20150812